I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I love going to new places!
After "meeting" on social media, I was finally able to meet up in person with videographer, New Brunswick-lover, adventurer, (and new friend), Kirsten Stanley. She wanted to show me one of her favourite places in Saint John, and I was so pumped to just be "along for the ride" on an adventure, and not the one making all the plans and plotting the course. We met at my favourite coffee place in NB, Rogue Coffee, for a flat white, chatted (mostly about our dogs), and headed out for a hike!
So, Split Rock Trail . . . like I said, I didn't do a lot of the planning, but I'll share a helpful link at the end of this so you can plan your trip easily ;)
We were lucky to have two cars, so we dropped mine off at one end of a gravel road and drove back to the start of said road. You can make the trail a full loop, but you'd have to walk the gravel road for at least 1.5 km in order to do that, which isn't my idea of a great time.
The trail starts in a dirt parking lot right after a generating station, which provides an interesting dichotomy of nature and industry for a little while.
The trail is pretty much all along the coast, which is most of what makes it awesome.
How beautiful is that?
So, confession: we were really chatty, so I didn't do a very good job of tracking time and distance, but I'd say about a third of the way in, you get to the trail's "namesake", Split Rock - a big rock out a ways from the coastline:
And then about two thirds in, you get to what was probably my favourite part of the hike . . . your own private beach! You climb through the trees with buoys on them with the help of some ropes and sketchy roots to this beautiful spot!
We climbed up on that rock and had a picnic with . . . some seals!
Do you see their little heads?!
What a beautiful spot for a picnic break!
We said goodbye to our buddies and continued on.
After another 15 minutes or so of hiking, we made it to the cave! There's a rope to help you down to explore. We went until you couldn't see anything (hoping we wouldn't see anything, really) and were satisfied :)
This trail really has quite a bit of character - beautiful coast, beach, seals, a cave, and even a lighthouse!
I guess you could say I'm sold!
The main trail ends at the lighthouse (except a 1km walk on an ATV trail back to the parking lot), unless you want to keep taking it all the way down to Black Beach.
Many sections of the trail reminded me of Cape Breton and Newfoundland. So breathtaking . . .
And that's a wrap.
We did this on a hot day (was there a not hot day in July?) and were so sweaty by the end that we were both eager for a fresh-water swim, even though it was much later than I planned to be in town. So, we headed to Lepreau Falls to cool off. It was wonderful! But that's for another blog post . . .
We ended the day with some pub food and I headed back at dusk. Feeling worn out after a day of adventuring is one of the best feelings!
Oh, and Kirsten made a sweet vlog about our day too! You can find it here. And check out her other adventure videos while you're there!
Ok, so I hope I've convinced you to get there! We did an approx. 6.5km hike - about 5km from the first parking lot to lighthouse, and then 1.4km to the second parking lot. For more details on routes, parking, distances, etc., check out the Facebook group for the trail here. This trail was actually created by a local woman and a chainsaw, with the help of her furry friend!
As always, take out what you take in! Let's keep this place special.